Hispanic Investors Optimistic about the Economy and Political Direction of the Country, According to Wells Fargo Survey
Concerns about debt and retirement savings still affect most
Hispanic investors report feeling comfortable financially, while showing optimism about the economy and political direction of the country, according to a recent Wells Fargo nationwide survey. The positive sentiment is tempered, however, as more immediate financial concerns are interfering with Hispanic investors’ ability to manage debt and save for retirement.
Roughly half of Hispanic investors surveyed (49%) report feeling comfortable financially (similar to 51% of the general population) and confident in their financial future (55% of Hispanics, similar to the general population, 52%). Fifty-seven percent of Hispanic investors also reported feeling secure in their current job situation, consistent with 55% of all US adults.
Hispanic investors are more optimistic about the political direction of the country, with 50% of those surveyed seeing the political direction improving, compared to 43% of all adults. Hispanic investors are also generally optimistic about the economic direction of the country and their local economy. Half (51%) of those surveyed feel the US economy will improve in the next two years (similar to 47% of all US adults), while only one in five (19%) expect the US economy to decline (compared to 33% of all US adults). In addition, Hispanic investors are more likely to anticipate improvement in their local economy in the next two years (53% vs. 45% of the general population).
Despite financial confidence and optimistic outlook, debt remains a top concern for many Hispanics, as half (50%) reported that they have more debt than they feel comfortable with, vs. 38% of the overall population. A quarter (25%) of Hispanics surveyed report concern about losing their home, compared to 12% for the overall population. And the majority of Hispanics (57%) report they are more focused on reducing debt than saving for retirement (similar to 53% of the general population).
While Hispanic investors appear to be taking steps toward saving, there is still anxiety about having enough for retirement. Nearly half (45%) reported cutting back on spending to save for retirement, higher than 36% overall among US adults. Almost half of Hispanic investors surveyed (48%) are still concerned they will not be able to save enough for retirement, similar to 52% of the overall US population.
“Hispanic investors are facing tremendous challenges when it comes to saving for retirement. We are seeing immediate financial concerns like covering household bills and mortgage payments are interfering with their ability to put money away toward retirement,” said David Roda, Regional Chief Investment Officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank. “These are complex challenges where one size doesn’t fit all in terms of a possible course of actions, but we would certainly encourage all investors to double down on their planning efforts, and really seek guidance from an advisor to ensure they are on track to meet their financial goals.”
Living in multi-generational households may also have a significant impact on Hispanic investors’ savings, as a number of respondents are caring for their own children, as well as aging parents or grandparents. Nearly one in five (18%) of Hispanic investors report currently living in a three-generation household and 27% expect to do so within the next ten years. Living with and supporting multiple generations has an impact on the ability to save for retirement, as only 28% of Hispanic investors in three-generational households expect to maintain their lifestyle in retirement, compared to 56% outside of a multi-generational household.
Even though Hispanic enrollment in college is at an all time high, according to the Pew Hispanic Center (24% growth in enrollment from 2009 to 2010), financial considerations may adversely affect Hispanic attitudes about higher education. The current study reports two in five (41%) Hispanics agree that college tuition is so high that a college education is just not worth pursuing, significantly higher than the national average of 28%. Hispanics who completed the survey in English were less likely to feel this way (36% felt the college tuition was too high to justify), closer to the overall national response of 28% of all Americans.
As part of Wells Fargo’s proactive outreach to the segment, the company is focused on providing financial education for Hispanic consumers to empower them to achieve financial success. Wells Fargo has developed a comprehensive financial education platform that offers guidance on financial topics that resonate with the segment. Through relationships with national and community organizations and media outlets nationwide, Wells Fargo uses print, digital and workshop formats to deliver financial solutions to a broad range of audiences. An additional Wells Fargo resource is Mi Guía Financiera, an online resource consisting of articles, videos and tools aimed at helping consumers become more confident and knowledgeable in money management.
About the Study
These survey findings are based on an online survey conducted November 9 – December 3, 2012 among adults nationwide (N=1,105) and Hispanic adults (N=502, including 56 who took the survey in Spanish). Qualified respondents were non-students, ages 25-75, who are the primary or joint financial decision-maker in the household with household investable assets of at least $10,000. Survey results are weighted to reflect Census data for gender, age, race/ethnicity, region and household income to ensure representativeness. Assuming no sample bias, the maximum margin of error for the National sample is ± 2.9% and ± 4.4% for Hispanic adults.